Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines AcroYoga Workshop
(High Bird and Handstand on Knees)

Tori and I went to Bird Rock Yoga in Pacific Beach this weekend for the Valentines AcroYoga Workshop. Steven and Gina taught us a cool flow without any L-basing that ended with several standing poses. We were excited to learn the transition from Reverse Thigh Stand to Handstand on Knees since we have wanting to try it for awhile now.

I also finally based High Bird successfully. I have attempted it several times in the past but I always needed lots of hands-on assistance from my spotters. The technique Steven and Gina taught used momentum instead strength to get the flyer overhead. On my third try, I surprised myself when Tori popped straight up with little effort. I was able to repeat the pose with Gina in the video below.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

AcroYoga - Sunset at Seaside Beach

Tori's friend Debbie is a professional photographer who recently moved out from Florida. We eagerly accepted her offer to take some pictures of our AcroYoga poses at Seaside Beach in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.



Back Fly

Back Fly Kiss

Free Star

Reverse Star - Tori had a perfect view of the approaching water about to run up my back.

Paschi Arm Balance - One of the first poses we learned.

Straddle Throne - Ninja Pose

Bird Pop - This was our highest pop yet. Debbie timed her shot perfectly!

Needle Shoulderstand

Reverse Thigh Stand

Flag - This was our first time performing the pose without a spot.

I was wet and sandy down my back but it was worth it for some great shots.

Monday, January 01, 2018

AcroLove Festival (New Years Eve)

We went to our third AcroLove Festival this New Years weekend and it was our first attempt at two days in a row. I was nervous about how my body would respond by the second day.

Session 1 - Creative L-Base

This was a great class where we learned a creative flow with several new poses and transitions, including a fun drop from Bird to Hanging Back Plank and a cool way to get to Star from Foot to Hand.  Besides the standing elements, the hardest transition for us was Star to Tuck Sit. Tori had to cheat a bit by quickly dropping her feet to rest on my knees.

Session 2 - Washing Machines
(Christopher Filkins and Emily Reuman)

This mostly hands-free washing machine class was the hardest of the festival for us. It involved a lot of delicate back and forth balancing of the flyer's sit bone on the ball of one foot. We were able to achieve several of the individual elements but weren't able to put them all together.

Session 3 - Unique L-Base Entries
(Dana Arnold and Modern Tarzan)

This was a fun class where Tori and I tried Foot to Foot for the first time. The hardest part was rolling over on our toes correctly to achieve a good foot position. We were pretty stable once we both extended our legs. We had good spotters so I got a chance to fly it as well. Very Scary!!

We then learned a Popping Throne Mount with some High Reverse Foot to Hand added to the mix. The next progression was the flyer jumping from the ground into Whale. I had to make sure I caught Tori with plenty of cushion as she landed with her back on my feet. Our last practice was popping the flyer directly into High Reverse Foot to Hand from the ground and then dropping back to Whale. With the longer hang time, it was easier to catch her in Whale. The teachers then demonstrated the pop directly to Whale, but the class ended before we had a chance to attempt it.

Session 4 - Group Washing Machines
(Jacob Brown and Debbie Collis)

We learned four group washing machines in the last class of the day. The first was The Kate Machine with two flyers switching back and forth between the two bases in Straddle Throne and Shoulder-stand. The second machine was Mediterranean with the two flyers switching between Throne and Foot to Hand. Angry Birds was a popping machine with two bases and one flyer being tossed back and forth in Reverse Bird. The bases would turn the flyer around with Corkscrew before popping her back.

As preparation for the last Group Washing Machine, we learned a Reverse Bird Pop Dismount. I saw this fun trick a while ago and always wanted to try it. We then attempted Extreme Hugging where a flyer in Reverse Straddle Throne catches a second flyer on her lap. In the video below, Tori is on the receiving end of the extreme hug. I took turns basing both sides.

We both woke up extremely sore on Sunday morning. Tori's back was aching and my right hand was swollen from being kicked in the fingers so we decided to go back to bed. After sleeping in and eating a nice breakfast, we were revitalized enough to head down and catch another class.

Session 3 - Fun Flow
(Patrick Reiner and Mara Harris)

Despite my soreness, I was able to stretch and loosen up enough to base confidently. It was an all-levels class with familiar poses but at least half of the transitions were completely new to us, including the Back Walkover to Throne. After they demonstrated Reverse Back Fly to Reverse Star, I volunteered to base while they showed the proper spotting technique. I was a bit nervous since I had never attempted that transition before.

I was able to base it with an advanced, intermediate and beginning flyer in a short amount of time and it was interesting to feel the different amount of effort involved with each one. I was also called back up to demo the last section of the Fun Flow.

AcroLove New Year's Eve Party

After going home to take care of Tori's mom, we headed back to the Sheraton to ring in the New Year.

The night was a mixture of performances, singing and AcroOlympic competitions.

The first competition was Hand Stands. Matt won at 1 minute, 55 seconds.

Free Star was the next competition. The announcers made it difficult by constantly requiring different variations of the pose. Our teachers from Saturday, Matt and Emily, outlasted them all.

The Foot to Hand competition was equally varied with the bases having to go from lying down to standing more than once while the flyers danced. Matt and Liz won when the Liberty pose took down their final competitors.

Human Tower Stacking - Despite not building a tall stack with Two Highs, our group came in second with nineteen. The winners had twenty-four and had to recreate their tower in front of the stage. They even managed to add an extra person.

The final AcroOlympic competition of the night was Standing Hand to Hand. Matt and Liz won again with a time of 1 minute, 53 seconds.

Impromptu Slack Line Performance - No trees, no problem!

Tori and I counted down to midnight in Free Star. It was our most stable pose yet!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Las Vegas (Encore, Le Reve and Buffets)

Tori and I went for a last minute getaway to Las Vegas. We got a great price for our room at the Encore with tickets to Le Reve and four meals at the Wynn Buffet included. We drove out early Sunday with a stop at the Las Vegas Outlets and arrived just in time for check-in. It was an elegant suite on the middle floors with a divider separating the bedroom from the living room. While we had stayed at the Wynn before, it was our first time in the Encore.

We had seen the Peppermill on Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars getting Coffee" so we decided to eat dinner there since it was so close to our hotel. We got a booth right away in the tree-filled diner. Tori joked about me ordering a drink called the Bubblebath, but it intrigued me so I ordered it anyway. Very fruity! We shared a tasty Buffalo Chicken Wrap and a huge brownie sundae. We also checked out the Fireside Lounge in the back.

Walking back to the Encore, we continued on through the Palazzo shops at the Venetian. The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was in town so the casinos and restaurants were full of cowboys wearing boots, belt buckles and ten gallon hats. The next morning, we had breakfast at Jardin in the Encore before driving over to spend a couple hours at the Imperial Health Spa visiting the variety of saunas and receiving a relaxing massage.

We skipped lunch to save room for the Wynn Buffet so we were starving by the time we went down at 5:30 for an early dinner. Normally, I tend to avoid buffets since I go overboard. We promised ourselves in the long line that we would try to stick to one type of cuisine. Once we got our table in the beautifully decorated main hall and grabbed our plates, we couldn't resist splurging since all the food looked so tasty. I tried to keep all my portions very small. The small cut of steak I had was my favorite. Perfectly flavored! We tried to save a little space in our bellies for the Dessert Room where Tori had a made-to-order crepe and I tried a small selection of cookies and pastries.

After relaxing for a bit after our big dinner, we went down to the Wynn Theater for the 9:30pm performance of Le Rêve. Outside was a sculpture of Popeye that I suspected was created by Jeff Koons based on his other work we saw at The Broad this summer. Turns out I was right, the artist built the stainless steel statue between 2009-2011 and Steve Wynn bought it for $28 million dollars.

This was second time we have seen Le Rêve and I enjoyed it a lot more this time. Last time, we saw it the day after seeing my favorite Vegas show, Absinthe, so I may have compared it unfavorably. The production now encourages non-flash photography to share on social media so I didn't have to worry about an usher reprimanding me for sneaking a photo like the first time. Ha! I tried to not take too many photos. The hotel offers a diver's package to experience the show underwater. I would love to experience that someday.

We had planned to take some AcroYoga pictures in front of our hotel window but since our view of the North Strip was pretty unspectacular we forgot about it until our last morning. We were both feeling pretty stiff, but I moved the couch out of the way and Tori jumped up on my feet for a few poses before breakfast. The view to the left was of Circus Circus and the Chinese-themed Resort World which has finally begun construction. Across from Circus Circus was a giant parking lot where the Riviera used to stand before the property was purchased by the Convention Center. The giant abandoned Fontainebleau tower was recently bought by new owners who also plan to begin construction soon on the unfinished resort.

After AcroYoga, we went down for our last free meal at the Buffet. It was close to 11am by the time we got through the line and loaded up on Breakfast. I was surprised when I went back for seconds how quickly they had switched out everything for lunch items. Since I was still in the mood for breakfast I didn't eat much more which was probably for the best. Because our checkout was at 11:30am, we had to get back to our room pretty quick to pack. The drive home on a Tuesday was very smooth and we stopped for the Outlets at Barstow to buy Christmas presents.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

AcroYoga - High Barrel Rolls (and Acropeutics)

Tori and I have been working on the Corkscrew transition from Bird to the Star position for the last month. At the Swami's Jam today, we finally put a series of them together into the washing machine called High Barrel Rolls. We still need to learn the proper way to switch hand grips while transitioning through the Bird position.

As well as the acrobatic part of AcroYoga, there is also the more healing side which combines Thai massage and is called therapeutic flying or Acropeutics. During Amanda's Thai Massage class on Saturday, we learned a new position called the Hippie Twist. With my arms folded behind my back and my feet in the Straddle Bat position, Tori gently twisted my shoulders in the opposite direction of my hips by alternately bending her arms and legs.

With singing and dancing in the Drum Circle behind us, Tori based me in Reverse Prayer before lowering me down for a quick kiss.

I have based Tori in several of these stretching positions many times so it was nice to relax as the flyer for the first time. I looked so huge draped over her feet in the SuperYogi position.

My friend, Chad, came to the jam and I based him in Star for the first time. Now I just need to convince him to come more often.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Trapeze High - Records Day

Saturday was Records Day at Trapeze High.

Longest Plank - I achieved a personal record of 5 minutes in the first competition. The winners were Dave (11 min, 14 sec), Celeste (11 min, 4 sec), and Cami (10 min, 22 sec). We were allowed to switch back and forth from hands to elbows but Celeste stayed on her elbows the whole time. I was impressed!

Most Pull Ups -  Any hand grip was allowed as long as the competitors went all the way down and extended their chin over the bar at the top. Kenny (14), Harmony (14), Chris (12), Gina (12)

Longest Hand Stands - As you can see from the video below, Kenny tried to intimidate his main rival but it didn't work. Cami was so stable, I think she could have gone for at least another minute. Cami (35 sec), Kenny (30 sec), RJ (10 sec)

Longest Head Stands - Cami won again despite Heidi putting up a tough fight. Cami (5 min, 10 sec) Heidi (5 min, 6 sec), Kenny (4 min, 30 sec)

Most Set Swings - Keeping your legs up through the entire trapeze swing is a major abs workout. I can't even do one. Gina (30), Kenny (15), Tatum (10)

Consecutive Catch Locks - This was my second competition and I completed seven. We were only allowed two swings before starting our next lock. I thought I would be exhausted after this but all of our hand grips gave out before our muscles had a chance to get tired. Normally, there is a longer wait between catches so our hands have a chance to recover. I could barely hold onto the bar when I dismounted. Chris (14), Harmony (12), Isaac (11)

Most Swings over the Board - This competition was going on at the same time as the Catch Locks. The flyer performed a Turnaround and had to fly over the board as many times as possible. Lianna (12), Gina (12), Geri (4), Reese (4)

Highest Trapeze Swing - Chris (Adults), Reese (Teens), Tatum (Children)

Kiiking Swings - The goal of this competition was to see who could go over the top on the Kiiking Swing with the fewest amount of swings. Dave (2 1/2), Reese (4), Geri (4 1/2), Evie (4 1/2)

Most Traveling Ring Passes - RJ (10), Geri (8), Evie (6)